Impact of Medical Waste Handling on the Occupational Safety for Cleaners in the Hospitals of the City of Jenin, Palestine

Issam A. Al-Khatib

Abstract


This research provides an overview of the most important issues relevant to occupational safety of cleaners in Jenin hospitals in the West Bank of Palestine. Research results showed a low level of occupational safety of cleaners for several reasons; the lack of adequate training of cleaners on how to deal with medical waste, to avoid their risks. About 25.8% of cleaners mentioned that they are not familiar with diseases that can be transmitted through exposure to medical waste, and also do not have properly protective clothing and shoes. Only 32.3% of them were wearing boots on a permanent basis, and 45.0% of them said that their shoes are not resistant to puncture needles or other sharps. Additionally, 16.1% of cleaners confirmed that they were not satisfied with their work; and 35.5% of them said that their officials sometimes keen on their safety, health, and comfort. Also, 32.3% of the cleaners reported that they have been exposed to wounds or scratches from sharp objects in the waste, and 50% of them have not been treated for wounds. The study recommends that there should be legislations and guidelines that are binding clear. Also, operational plans and instructions are required to protect the cleaners from risks, with the importance of the presence of an integrated system for medical waste management.

Keywords


Occupational Safety, Cleaners, Hospitals, Medical Waste, Palestine.

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